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Anthony Leiserowitz, PhD


Anthony Leiserowitz is an expert on American and international public opinion on global warming, including public perception of climate change risks, support and opposition for climate policies, and willingness to make individual behavioral change. His research investigates the psychological, cultural, political, and geographic factors that drive public environmental perception and behavior. He has conducted survey, experimental, and field research at scales ranging from the global to the local, including international studies, the United States, individual states (Alaska and Florida), municipalities (New York City), and with the Inupiaq Eskimo of Northwest Alaska. He also recently conducted the first empirical assessment of worldwide public values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding global sustainability, including environmental protection, economic growth, and human development. He has served as a consultant to the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), the United Nations Development Program, the Gallup World Poll, the Global Roundtable on Climate Change at the Earth Institute (Columbia University), and the World Economic Forum.

Lisa Fernandez

Assistant Director

Lisa coordinates program management and operations, contributes to strategic direction, and builds a sense of community for program students, staff and associates.  Previously, she worked in urban environmental conservation and sustainable development in the US and Latin America. She has served as a consultant to the United Nations Development Programme, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the World Bank. She was a Fellow at the World Wildlife Fund-USA and a City Planner implementing solid waste prevention policy for the City of New York. Her most recent publications are Toward a New Consciousness:  Values to Sustain Human and Natural Communities and Institutionalizing Sustainability in Higher Education.  She serves on the boards of the East Coast Greenway Alliance and the Farmington Canal Rail-to-Trail Association and holds an appointment on the Connecticut Greenways Council.

Geoff Feinberg

Research Director

Geoff joined YPCCC in 2012. As Research Director, he manages and oversees the Climate Change in the American Mind biannual survey measuring American public opinion on global warming. Prior to joining YPCCC, he was a vice president at GfK North America, where he specialized in public opinion, thought leadership, social marketing, and strategic communications research. At GfK, Geoff co-founded and was the GfK director of the Associated Press-GfK Poll, which covers a range of current political and social topics and is one of the most widely reported media polls in the world, reaching upwards of an estimated two billion people monthly. He was also a chief research advisor for the Meth Project, a philanthropic organization devoted to reducing methamphetamine use among teens. In 2011, it was ranked by Barron’s Magazine as the third-most effective philanthropy in the world. In the environmental arena, Geoff served as research consultant to The Sustaining Family Forests Initiative. He has also conducted national polls on environmental topics for Yale and Stanford.

Jennifer Marlon

Associate Research Scientist

Jenn's research focuses on public perceptions of climate change, climate literacy, and the physical aspects of long-term environmental changes – especially wildfires. She is co-organizer of a science education and training program called the Dissertation Initiative for the Advancement of Climate Change Research (DISCCRS, pronounced “discourse”), which aims to establish connections among researchers focusing on the scientific and human dimensions of climate change. Jenn holds a PhD and MS in Geography from the University of Oregon, and a BS from the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Seth Rosenthal

Project Director

Seth serves as research methodologist at YPCCC, with a particular focus on survey methodology.  Before joining YPCCC in August 2013, he was Director of Opinion Research at Merriman River Group, where he specialized in election and issues-based opinion polling. Seth has also been the lead author of the annual National Leadership Index report published by the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School.  Seth holds a B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University, and an A.M. and Ph.D. in experimental psychopathology from the Department of Psychology at Harvard. He was also a post-doctoral research fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. Seth has published research on narcissism, self-esteem, positive intergroup attitudes, and leadership.

Bessie Schwarz

Communications Strategist

Bessie Schwarz manages media and outreach analysis for YPCCC. She comes to YPCCC with extensive experience designing, running and winning national and local grassroots campaigns, as the Field Director for Environment Colorado and as the Federal Field Coordinator with Environment America. In these capacities, she has overseen the generation of dozens of press conferences and hundreds of press stories and has helped designed the national and state field strategies for both of these organizations. Since 2009, she has also directed several record-breaking citizen outreach offices across the country, raising grassroots funds and building public support for clean water, clean energy and preservation.  Bessie received her BA from Carleton College where she studied Philosophy and Environmental Studies. After graduating, she joined Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing, and was awarded the Sarah Forslund Scholarship. Bessie developed her love of the environment while visiting the Rocky Mountains growing up.

Xuan Tang

Visiting Research Scholar

Xuan is currently a visiting research scholar at YPCCC from Renmin University of China. She is in the second year of her PhD study in Communication. Xuan focuses on public opinions towards climate change, and has done some related surveys in China - “The Awareness of Low Carbon Life of Chinese Residents” and “Public Perceptions of Environmental Issues in China”. Now she is doing her research on comparative study of Sino-US public attitudes towards climate change at YPCCC.


Zena Grecni

Research Assistant

Zena is a 2015 Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  Before entering graduate school, Zena worked at the University of Hawai‘i and the East-West Center in Honolulu, managing projects to provide state, regional, and national decision makers with actionable research and information to support their climate change adaptation initiatives. As Communications Coordinator for the Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (Pacific RISA) program, she developed and implemented the communications strategy for a regional climate research partnership. Here at Yale F&ES, Zena is studying climate change impacts and solutions and international environmental policy. Her assistantship at YPCCC is an opportunity to expand her communications experience, especially through harnessing the power of social media to build a community of citizen climate communicators. Ultimately, she hopes to return to Hawai‘i to facilitate collaboration in the Pacific region for sustainability and resilience. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College. Zena enjoys jogging in New Haven, hiking in the Appalachian Mountains, and landscape photography.

Eric Fine

Research Assistant / Partnerships Coordinator

Eric is originally from New Jersey, but has been mobile for the last fifteen years as an outdoor educator, taking people on Outward Bound expeditions throughout the Americas and Europe.  Watching glaciers recede in Patagonia over the past ten years has inspired him to come pursue a Masters of Environmental Science at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  He is focusing on climate change communication and public perception.  As the Partnerships Coordinator at YPCCC, Eric is responsible for outreach for the Yale Climate Connections daily radio program and for conference planning and support.

Lea Lupkin

Research Assistant

Lea is dedicated to driving technical, policy and entrepreneurial solutions by understanding and tapping into the nuances of human nature. As a Master of Environmental Management student, she is studying connections between behavioral insights, energy systems, governance, social enterprises, and conflict resolution. For five years, Lea helped to grow a new company driving energy and sustainability solutions at higher education institutions in the Northeast U.S. At GreenerU, she developed behavior and organizational change strategies, managed implementation of sustainability programs at colleges and universities, and integrated optimal behavior cues and stakeholder processes into energy and water efficiency programs. Lea also previously worked with the Sustainable Endowments Institute researching innovative financing mechanisms for campus sustainability. She has held leadership positions with the youth sustainable development organization SustainUS, the Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition, and the Energy Action Coalition. Lea holds a BA in Environmental Policy from Roanoke College. She is a proud pitbull owner and trained Group Facilitator.

Dana Patterson

Research Assistant / Digital Strategist

Dana is a passionate environmental leader currently studying her Masters of Environmental Science with a focus on wildlife conservation at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to attending Yale, she devoted the last decade to making positive environmental shifts in New Jersey communities. In her 5-year nonprofit role, she empowered dozens of individuals in environmental justice communities; taught thousands of students about wetlands, wildlife, and watersheds; and served a leadership role on a half dozen Community Advisory Groups providing technical guidance and community outreach on toxic site remediation. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a Board Member of FDU’s Institute for Sustainable Enterprise. As the Digital Strategist at YPCCC, she curates our social media platforms, designs digital graphics for media releases, tracks analytics, and assists the research team as needed. She is also a member of Yale’s Forestry Club and in her free time, she enjoys nature photography and bird watching.

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